A couple of people from Rand McNally are coming here July 11-12, 2011, to see if we are the most beautiful city (for our size). My first thought was – cool! Second thought – we are a shoo-in. But then, after I checked with some locals and people I consider in the know, they think, even though Mayor Mary Ann has people sprucing the heck out of Pacifica, we won’t win. What? We ARE the most beautiful city in the U.S. (for our size), and our hikes end in hamburgers. No one can compete with that.
So, here is one of my favorite hikes, Rand McNally. Start in the parking lot that’s by the Best Western in Rockaway Beach. It’s free parking, public access. Walk along the paved trail, until you see what looks like a little rock quarry on the left. Here you have a choice, you can stay on the paved trail, or chose to go goat mode. Chose goat mode. Hike through the quarry and out the top of it. Please note: This route is going to take you along some loose gravel, steep trails, but breath taking views. Have appropriate shoes. Do not text.
Clamber around there until you see, this split I call “Fat Man’s Gulch.” Walk through. Shortly after the gulch, you have a choice of two trails – goat or mountain goat. Your choice. Mountain goat trail goes on the top of the hills and descends rapidly. You will be walking on the edge between hill and sky. I usually stay with goat mode, which it along the edge of a bluff, but not so steep.
Then, you will see Mori Point. Walk toward and down around Mori Point. There are some stairs, which I usually miss. If you miss the stairs, you can take the trail, which has eased back from goat mode to dog trot. You will see a path to the pier. Take that path.
(Oh come on, Rand McNally) At the end of the pier, near the road, the Chit Chat cafe sits waiting to serve lunch. On the weekends, they have an outside grill going. Order your buffalo burger with cheese, and then claim a table outside with the locals while the grill cooks your lunch. (Rand McNally – NO ONE CAN BEAT THIS. NO ONE.)
Hiker’s Note: Take the paved path home because goat or mountain goat is not feasible with the low belly.